A month ago the New York Times endorsed Senator John McCain for the Republican nomination for president. This endorsement, along with dozens of others, probably helped McCain jump over his rivals to become the presumed candidate. Yesterday the Times published an article that suggested that the Arizona senator may have had an improper relationship with Vicki Iseman, a lobbyist. The article was pretty vague about how the relationship was improper, whether it was romantic or political.
After McCain’s rivals one by one dropped out of the race, the Republican right wing was less than thrilled by his ascendancy. They considered him too liberal. Rush Windbag said that if McCain became the Republican candidate, it would do irreparable harm to the party. With the Times’ article about McCain’s possibly "improper relationship" with Vicki Iseman, conservatives rushed to the senator’s defense. To them, a negative article in the Times was a "badge of honor." Even Rusho defended McCain against the New York Times. McCain denied having an improper relationship of any kind with the lobbyist, saying she was a friend.
The likely source of the story was present or former members of the senator’s campaign staff. Hey, wait a minute! You don’t suppose??? Did someone from McCain’s staff deliberately plant a false story with the New York Times in order to create sympathy for the senator among conservatives? Stranger things have happened.